It's no secret Microsoft and Sony have begun making the next Xbox (codenamed Scarlett) and PS4, respectively. But what is a secret is what the consoles will look like it, when they release, and what they will feature.
Details on the two console's innards and outward appearance remain a secret, however, there have been some rumors, reports, and speculation regarding a release window. Unfortunately, there isn't any uniformity among these release windows, though most are locked in for 2020. However, there has been word of a 2019 release floating around, and now one analyst has thrown 2021 into the mix.
Speaking to GamingBolt, IDC analyst Lewis Ward doesn't believe, despite what many people think, that the systems will hit in 2020. Rather, the two systems will come in 2021. However, hardware sales in 2019 might speed up the process and narrow the window to 2020.
"I'm not sure," said Ward when asked whether he believed Microsoft is looking to release the Xbox Scarlett out ahead of the PS5. "My model currently projects both consoles will debut in 2021, a year later than many analysts seem to think. What happens to sales in 2019 will likely determine who is right, and narrow the launch window for next-gen consoles."
In other words, while Ward believes the consoles won't arrive until sometime in 2021, he's open to the possibility that they could arrive a year earlier. As for 2019, Ward doesn't believe there's a chance Sony or Microsoft will get out with a new console that soon, especially not Sony, who wouldn't be skipping E3 2019 if it was launching the PS5 the same year, or at least that's what Ward argues.
So, 2020 or 2021? That seems to be question of the moment. 2020 seems more likely, but 2021 seems plausible, unlike 2019.
Anyway, as always, this type of analyst speculation should be taken with a grain of salt just like any rumor or report or leak. Analysts are more informed when it comes to this stuff than your average Joe-Smo, but they're wrong as often as they're correct.
As I always say, the only thing worth betting your house and dog on is official confirmation. Anything else should be taken with a grain of salt or two or sometimes three.